Name: Skype (Visit Skype)
Type: VOIP Service
Best Website For: Popular VOIP Client
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Skype is one of the defacto standards when it comes to internet communication. The VOIP provider bridges the gap between regular telephones and internet messaging. With Skype you can make calls on your computer, use it as an instant messenger, and even share your screen (or files too).
We have an exciting few days ahead as this weekend the Skype team will receive the Emmy® Award for Technology & Engineering at the ceremony in Las Vegas.
With Emmy in hand, you’ll find us at the NAB Show from April 9–12, in Booth SL6716, where we will announce our next innovation for Skype—which will put content creation at the heart of the Skype for Desktop app.
Now in preview, Skype for Content Creators is designed to open new interactive possibilities for our users all over the world—including leading digital broadcasters, streamers, and vloggers—to record videos, podcasts, and live streaming calls without having to invest in expensive studio equipment.
With Skype for Content Creators, Windows 10 and Mac users will be able to select the Content Creators mode to place and record calls directly within NewTek NDI®–enabled software such as:
Once the call is recorded, content can be easily imported into apps such as Adobe Premier Pro and Adobe Audition for editing. In addition, users can customize the look and feel of the call—so they can be part of a live show ready for streaming to audiences of all sizes.
There’s no need for additional recording or screen capture solutions. Skype will provide clean feeds of all group video call participants to your choice of NewTek NDI®–enabled software, dramatically simplifying the process of using Skype within collaborative content.
Skype now unlocks the content from within the Skype for Desktop app, making it easier than ever to use the audio and video to create collaborative, engaging content with as little as two steps from setting up the call to livestreaming your call to a platform of your choice.
For more information and demonstrations of Skype for Content Creators, please visit us at NAB in Las Vegas April 9–12 (Booth SL6716). We look forward to seeing you there!
Skype for Content Creators will be generally available this summer for Windows 10 and Mac users. Your input will help shape the future of this feature. To provide feedback, please visit the Skype Community.
The post Make collaboration the heart of your live streams, podcasts, and videos with Skype for Content Creators appeared first on Skype Blogs.
Your polished resume and stellar portfolio have landed you a Skype video interview with your potential boss. With the right preparation, you can make great impression over Skype video. And if you’re a developer, Skype Interviews has you covered. You can even add a Contact me button to your email signature, which allows potential employers to call you directly from email.
Set yourself up to make a great first impression
Ahead of your Skype video interview, you will want to prep your surroundings, make sure your Skype profile represents your professional personality, and get Skype ready for the video call.
Check your background surroundings—Look at your surroundings and make sure your background isn’t a distraction—check for wall clutter or bright lights behind you. For the best video quality, use a light-colored background. Also, make sure your space will be quiet during the call.
Create a professional Skype profile—Take a look at your Skype profile and make sure your user name matches the name on your resume (or a shortened nickname) and consider uploading a profile picture. Use the Mood feature to convey your professional status, such as current job title.
Get ready for the call—Make sure to close any programs not needed for the interview. Open applications, including a web browser, can eat up bandwidth and reduce the quality of the video call. Have links to your resume and portfolio ready to drop into the Skype chat window. Right before your video call begins, set your status to Do not disturb, so you don’t get any IMs or calls.
Test your technical settings
You need to make sure your Skype settings will allow you to receive the video call from the interviewer as well as check that your audio and video are working properly. You can do these tasks from the Skype Options window by selecting Tools > Options.
Check your Skype privacy settings—Since it is likely that the person interviewing you isn’t one of your current contacts, you need to make sure you can receive their call and IMs. In the Options window, click Privacy and under Privacy settings, select the anyone radio button for all options:
Check your audio and video settings—Next, you will want to ensure your audio and video are working properly. To check your audio, in the Options window, click General and then Audio settings. Click Make free test call to verify that you can hear the caller and the caller can hear you. During your test call, confirm that you have a strong internet connection. If Skype detects a weak connection, it will reduce the quality of the video call to try to stop the call from dropping altogether.
Next, click Video settings and confirm you can see the video stream. Note you can click Webcam settings and make refinements, such as adjusting the brightness, to fit your background environment. Visit Skype support to learn more.
Technical interviews for developers—we’ve got you covered
Last summer, Skype introduced Skype Interviews, which supports a video call with an integrated code editor.
Software engineers can compile and run code right from a Skype video call during a coding interview. Skype Interviews is easy to set up—no download required. Read “Skype Interviews connects software engineers with mentors—regardless of distance” to learn more.
Pro tip—add a Contact me button to your email signature
Take your email signature to the next level with the Contact me button—a link or image that when clicked calls you on Skype. Start by visiting Skype contact me button to get a Skype icon image and copy/paste it into a document. Or you can type text, such as Call me on Skype. Next, select the Skype image or text, right-click, and select Link. Where you would enter a web address, enter skype: followed by your Skype name (e.g., skype:Julie.Robbins). Just add the link or image to your email signature, and when the recipient clicks it, a call will be placed to your Skype.
More tips to ace your interview
We have put together an infographic with more tips to ace your interview. You can download it to your desktop to keep as a handy reference.
To learn more about Skype video calling, read “How to have a great Skype call” and “Call quality guide for Windows desktop.” Let us know what you think by clicking your profile picture and selecting Help and feedback. And as always, please join us in the Skype Community.
One of the unique features of Skype Interviews is the real-time code editor, which allows the interviewer to assess a candidate’s ability to code without the use of any third-party applications—dramatically improving their shared coding experience. As a direct result of your feedback, we’ve added a digital whiteboard that allows the interviewer and candidate to illustrate diagrams, visualize problems, and showcase scenarios.
Now when you launch Skype Interviews, the whiteboard icon will light up in the sidebar. Simply click it to display the wide range of editor tools that are available. The whiteboard displays the cursor movements of both participants, allowing you to follow each other’s train of thought much better.
Whiteboard editor tools
The digital whiteboard offers a wide range of tools you can use to sketch out complex scenarios, showcase flows, and save the final whiteboard so you can access it again. Here are just a few tools you will see when you launch the whiteboard:
Pencil tool—Use the pencil to sketch out a more complex scenario or setting. You can change the stroke width and color using the property configuration buttons in the center of the tool bar.
Shape tools—If you want to illustrate a diagram to showcase a flow in a scenario, then we’ve got you covered with our rectangle, circle, and line tools. Make sure to also label the objects using our text tool, which will allow you to freely write any text in a given area.
Archive whiteboard—At the end of the interview session, you can save a copy of the whiteboard and archive it for future reference. The saved SVG file can be opened on both Window and Mac computers.
The real-time digital whiteboard makes interviews overall a more collaborative experience—one where the participants will able to visualize their thoughts and ideas, and read back key takeaways after the fact. Our goal to make Skype Interviews the universally accepted tool for all video call interviews—regardless of distance, technical, or non-technical—pushed us to innovate further. Since Skype Interviews is still in preview, it’s critical we continue to hear from you. Your input will help shape the future of this feature. To provide feedback, go to Skype.com/interviews and click Send feedback.
Start your interview today with Skype Interviews!
The post Get more out of Skype Interviews with the new shared whiteboard appeared first on Skype Blogs.
With Skype now available across all your devices, you can seamlessly move from the web, desktop, and mobile to pick up a chat right where you left off. Skype chat also comes with some handy features to get your messages seen and keep you on top of your chats.
Make sure important messages are seen
In a Skype chat there are several ways you can call attention to important messages by surrounding a word or phrase with special characters:
- Bold—Surround your word or phrase with *asterisks* to add a bold emphasis.
- Italics—Use _underscores_ to format your word or phrase in italics.
- Strikethrough—A pair of ~tildes~ will strike out a word or phrase.
You can also start a message with two exclamation points (!!) followed by a space to convert the font to monospace and give your message an old-school, typewriter look.
Use parentheses to turn text into an emoticon—such as (smile) (think) (happy)—without having to open the emoticon picker. We even put together a list of Skype emoticons—including hidden ones like (confidential)—which you can explore to expand your pallet of expressions.
For those times you need to bubble up a message and directly respond, right-click or tap a message and select or tap Quote. The message is automatically added to the bottom of the chat with the person’s name and a time stamp from when the message was sent. Just type your response and it will be sent along with the quoted message.
Alternatively, you can right-click or tap a message and select or tap Copy and then Paste at the bottom of your chat without any of the information included when you select the Quote option. Also note that when you copy/paste a message, any special formatting is not carried over.
Stay on top of your conversations
At times a chat can get lengthy—especially if it is a group chat with lots of people chiming in—making it hard to keep up. Other times, you may find that you have sent a message with an error that could change its meaning—like telling somebody you will meet them at 2 p.m. instead of 3 p.m. Thankfully, with Skype you can see who is interacting with the chat and quickly update a message you sent. You can also forward a message to selected contacts or remove a message you no longer want to be part of the conversation.
If you happen to hit send before giving your message a final glance—and you realize you have made a mistake—you can right-click or tap on the chat bubble and click or tap Edit. Just make the change and send—the message will be updated and will now include a pencil icon indicating the message was edited.
You can always see a list of people who have reacted to a message in the conversation—just click the notifications icon at the top of the Skype window to display all your new message reactions.
You can also forward on a message to people who are not in the chat but need the information. Simply right-click or tap the message and click or tap Forward. Next, search and select your contacts who you want to forward message to and then click or tap Send. You can also select Remove and delete a message from the conversation. (You will be given one last chance to change your mind before the message is permanently removed.)
For more ways to interact with your chats, read “How to quickly find shared content in a chat.”
Join the Skype community
Visit Skype.com and get Skype on all your devices, and then join us in the Skype Community. You can also get help and send us feedback by clicking your profile picture and selecting Help and feedback. To learn more, check out our FAQs.
A 94-year-old resident at Popham Court in Wellington, Olive moved into her care home around four years ago following a decline in mobility. Due to her health, Olive found she was not able to get out and about as much as she would have liked, and now looks forward to regular visits from her daughters. And when her grandson announced he was engaged and had set a wedding date, Olive looked forward to that too.
Keen for Olive to be involved in the wedding, her family approached the Somerset Care staff at her home about the possibility of using Skype on the day of the big event. The staff, as well as other residents, emphatically agreed they would do everything they could to make that day special for her.
When the day came, staff pampered Olive. Dressed in a new outfit complete with a corsage, she beamed with happiness and could hardly believe her luck when her grandson surprised her with a visit on his way to the wedding venue! Prosecco was poured and wisdom imparted—and Olive was thrilled. After lunch, she and several other residents, excited staff, and Somerset Care Technologist Elizabeth Kirkpatrick gathered around a large computer monitor ready to accept an incoming Skype call.
“The message was sent that Olive was ready, and everyone waited on tenterhooks for the Skype call to begin. As the home answered the call, Olive was greeted with the arrival of the beautiful bride and bridesmaids,” says Elizabeth. They muted the microphone while the ceremony progressed, so Olive and her friends could “ooh” and “aah” to their heart’s content.
The Skype call lasted the duration of the ceremony and the signing of the register. The registrar even gave Olive a special mention, much to her increasing delight. But the ultimate highlight for her was actually being able to chat with the newlyweds as they signed the register. It brought tears of joy to her eyes, as well as to those around her.
“After the ceremony, more prosecco was poured and everyone was able to enjoy their very own wedding cake replica made by one of Olive’s daughters,” says Elizabeth. “Olive was overwhelmed with the sense of happiness and love on the day of her grandson’s wedding. This is something she’s carried with her and still talks about with a smile.”
We love hearing how you use Skype to make big days even bigger. To share your story, just tag us @Skype on social media, and we might feature you.
*Images courtesy of Somerset Care.
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A new collection of Skype for mobile add-ins were designed to help with group planning—like organizing a weekend getaway or buying tickets to see your favorite band—without having to leave your Skype group chat. With our newest Skype add-ins—TripAdvisor and StubHub—making travel plans or getting tickets to an event is now just a tap or click away.
Organize your next adventure with the TripAdvisor add-in for Skype
There’s nothing more exciting—and sometimes daunting—than traveling to a new place with a group. The TripAdvisor add-in for Skype lets you tap into the world’s largest travel site from your group chat to help plan a trip. With the new TripAdvisor add-in, you can instantly share information with your group about where to stay, what to do, and where to eat with friends.
To use the TripAdvisor add-in, tap or click the Add to chat button, scroll down, and select TripAdvisor. Search for the city you’re interested in or select a top destination. Once you have chosen your destination, you can search for hotels, restaurants, and things to do in the area. To share your findings with everyone in your chat, simply tap or click the Send button. Your TripAdvisor post will show up in the group chat, and members can quickly view information such as hotel rates and locations as well as traveler photos and reviews. Making group travel plans just became a breeze with the TripAdvisor add-in for Skype!
Plan events in Skype with the StubHub add-in
Whether you’re a sports fan, a Broadway aficionado, a concert goer, or all of the above, you can now grab all the tickets you need for your favorite events with the StubHub add-in for Skype and share to your group chat. Instead of exchanging emails and texts to organize your group to purchase tickets for an event, the StubHub add-in streamlines the process, all within your Skype group chat. The new feature helps you discover and buy tickets for your next event and share event details with your group without ever having to leave Skype.
Here’s how it works: Open the StubHub add-in and search for a specific event, location, or date you want. StubHub will show how many tickets are available for the event and offer tools to find the right tickets at your preferred price point. Once the event and ticket information are selected, send the link to the chat. Group members can tap or click the post to view the ticket listings on StubHub and then purchase the seats they want.
Try out these Skype add-ins and you’ll see they’re a great way to get everyone involved and ready for new adventures—from deciding on a hotel to finding the best seats at a sporting event. Skype add-ins are available on the latest version of Skype for Mac and Skype for mobile and are rolling out to Skype for Windows 10. Visit Skype to learn more, or for quick answers, see our FAQs. And as always, please join us in the Skype Community.
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Any music producer knows it’s not just about what you know, it’s also about who you know. We’re teaming up with one of the world’s most prolific dance music labels, Spinnin’ Records, to combine the two! From March 26 to April 25, 2018, the Spinnin’ Records bot (custom-made for Skype) will give aspiring producers the opportunity to learn from—and get exposure to—some of the best in the business. And Spinnin’ Records has some fantastic prizes to give away along the way!
With the Spinnin’ Records Skype bot, you’ll have 24-hour access to pointers from the label, as well as exclusive content from music heavyweights Jay Hardway, Mike Williams, and Zonderling, including their highlights from Miami Music Week. We are also including production tutorials and videos to help you create your own tracks.
Submit your best track to the Spinnin’ Records Talent Pool by April 16, 2018 and you could win the chance to have a one-on-one Skype video call with Jay, Mike, or Zonderling, or an FL Studio prize pack (so you’ve got all the right mixing software to start producing) and Spinnin’ Records merch.*
So, whether you want to follow in the footsteps of some of Spinnin’ Records biggest names (Zedd, Afrojack, Alesso, Avicii, Fatboy Slim, or DJ Snake—just to name a few), or if you’re just in it for the fun, we can’t wait to hear what you come up with!
*For terms and conditions, please visit Spinnin’ Records contest rules.
The post Aspiring music producer? Learn from the Spinnin’ Records crew! appeared first on Skype Blogs.
Across Microsoft, we are working to make technology more accessible and empower people to achieve more. We take feedback very seriously and are grateful to our active accessibility community who point us to areas of improvement. Following recent updates to Skype, your comments helped direct us to the areas of our new versions where change was most needed and could be most impactful. We have been working continuously since that time to understand the needs of our customers and have recently issued updates across platforms containing several improvements to address those issues. Accessibility is a journey and there are more fixes to come and we actively want and encourage feedback so we can deliver the right experience that empowers all our customers.
At Skype, and across the company, accessibility is a priority. We know that technology can play an important role in creating a more accessible and inclusive world. We are committed to continually improving our software and services to meet the needs of all our customers.
For the next updates to Skype, we are focusing on Mac, iOS, Windows Desktop, and Android. Although there are still more fixes and improvements to come, the Skype team has been focusing on the following areas: improving visible keyboard focus, eliminating cases where keyboard focus moves to non-actionable controls, ensuring keyboard focus moves back to the controls that opened a dialog or menu after the dialog or menu was closed, improving the accessible names and labels of controls, and improving the control types used.
Please do share thoughts and ideas via the Microsoft Accessibility UserVoice or contact the Disability Answer Desk for real-time support via phone, chat, or ASL videophone. If you are an early adopter, and comfortable with early preview releases, please consider joining the Skype Insider community. Your feedback is invaluable to these efforts—it’s not just important, it’s essential!
Award-winning not-for-profit Somerset Care recognizes that people have basic needs: to feel safe, accepted, loved, and a sense of belonging. They also see that the use of technology in care can help support these needs—as well as improve health and wellbeing. With a vision to enhance care with technology, the organization has been using Skype in their care homes for over 10 years.
Somerset Care provides residential, nursing, and specialist dementia care—as well as support for adults with complex needs—in homes across England’s Somerset county and the Isle of Wight. They understand how to assist with basic needs—and beyond.
So, in 2013, Somerset Care sought even more insight into the use of technology in care. They took part in a social experiment to learn how to bolster social inclusion and wellbeing in older people. One-hundred-twenty people over the age of 65 took part in this project, which brought social media platforms—including Skype, email, and Facebook—to participants who had never before used social media or a computer. “Skype was the most used and enjoyed platform, closely followed by Facebook and then email,” says Jason Shaw of Somerset Care. Sixty of the participants continued with no use of technology, but the other participants were ready to incorporate social media and computers into their lives.
“Each of our care homes has computers for the residents to use as they please, and we’ve since invested in hand-held tablets. Our residents use these in a variety of ways, including Skype, playing games, and emailing relatives,” says Jason. “Two of our care homes have recently started to make Skype calls with each other, meaning that residents from the care homes can chat together and form new friendships.”
And Somerset Care is fully on board with this enterprise. Thanks to the findings of that 2013 social experiment and research project, they have since employed a full-time “Care Technologist,” a role that provides support to their care homes and residents using a variety of technologies. Technology in Care Workshops have been crafted, too, and rolled out to the homes, including one dedicated specifically to the use of Skype in care.
Residents especially enjoy the ability to contact their friends and family members. “It’s particularly useful when a resident has first moved into a care home,” says Jason, “as this can be unsettling for the resident and their family.” Many of the success stories speak for themselves.
“We encourage our residents to experiment with technology to find out what works best for them,” Jason continues. “One of our residents wanted to use Skype to connect with her daughter on a more regular basis. She’s hard of hearing and relies on lip reading and body language. … The issue was solved using the instant message function. During Skype video calls, her daughter will type instead of talking, and the resident then verbally responds.”
Another success story is that of Olive, who was able to watch her grandson’s wedding via a Skype video call.
We love hearing how you use Skype to enhance the experiences of those around you. To share your story, just tag us @Skype on social media, and we might feature you.
*Images courtesy of Somerset Care.
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Calling all travel lovers and Hawaii hot-spot aficionados! Starting today, you’re invited to help travel vlogger Christian LeBlanc of Lost LeBlanc prepare to “get lost” (as he likes to say) on his upcoming trip to the Hawaiian island of Oahu, from March 8–12, as well as experience the highlights along the way, and long after he’s departed for his next adventure.
He just wrapped up a trip sailing around the Caribbean and now is trading in coconuts and island life for…more coconuts and island life! We teamed up with him to bring you closer to his journey around paradise and connect him to all your priceless local Oahu knowledge.
Through our custom-made Travel with Christian bot, you’ll be able to offer travel tips, see whose suggestions were used, and get access to exclusive content—like where he’s surfing, what he’s eating, and some of the things he’s been up to. Whether it’s your favorite plate lunch truck, a must-see secluded beach, or the best local hiking trails, he’s organizing his trip around your recommendations.
Also, by offering your best tips, you could win the chance to have a one-on-one video call with the intrepid traveler, which will be recorded and included in the vlog documenting his trip and posted on his channels as well as ours! So add the bot and help him get planning!